Art Blocks Poem, March 2015

poverty forces creativity
turns a stick
to a pencil
we do not wait
for the traditional tool
our poems insist upon themselves
see us scratch stanzas into dirt

We faith our way through days
and follow grandma’s gaze
when she looks at strange collisions
in gutters calls it art
we nod and learn non-linear
definitions outside
of institutions
the circles of our families
foster creativity in every
body our homes a canvas
impossible gardens blossom
in sidewalk cracks

but do not romanticize
empty pockets
inkless dysfunction
the thankless creativity
of poverty

We do not have to stay poor
as our reward
A violin without strings
only plays
silent songs

poem written by Molly Van Avery after a dinner conversation with the 2015 Art Block leaders

an integral part of Pillsbury United Communities